Posted: December 7th, 2018

Agnes “Betty” van Egteren

1923 – 2018

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 23:13

Betty van Egteren passed away peacefully, surrounded by the love of her family, on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. Betty, a true prairie girl, was born to Alec and Cornelia Schaafsma on August 10, 1923, and grew up during the dirty 30’s on a dry land farm near Burdett, AB. Her life was a rich tapestry of colorful events and circumstances which she wove into a beautiful story of faith and strength. Betty was a strong student and after completing high school, moved to Lethbridge to complete her secretarial training at Garbutt Business College. That was the first square in her life quilt; then it was on to Ottawa to work at the Dutch Consulate during WWII. During a trip to Montreal, while working in Ottawa, she met Henk van Egteren, a merchant marine from Holland. Because Mom was fluent in English and Dutch, she was offered a job with a law firm in Amsterdam where she and Henk were married and where their eldest daughter, Corina (Don MacKinnon, deceased), was born. Another quilt square – this would be the wedding knot pattern woven into her life’s tapestry. That patchwork would go on to add 4 more children: Henny (Don Hildebrand), Jan (Elizabeth), Bette-Ann (Jim MacNeil) and Henry (Veronica). Her children and grandchildren were the focus of her life. She knit, sewed, designed, cooked, canned, baked; and throughout all that, taught us all how to believe and work hard through the strong example she set. After moving back to Canada from Holland, Henk and Betty made Taber their home for many years, and her farming roots would lead to a job with the Department of Agriculture where she once again excelled. Her varied career with the Department would span 30 years and it was there she would make many life-long friends. Those friendships were carried to Lethbridge when she and Henk relocated. The harvest moon pattern would now be added to her quilt. Once Betty retired her friendship square would be constructed. Every Tuesday was coffee with her special group of coffee ladies who still continue getting together weekly at Smitty’s. During her brief illness Mom was an inspiration to us all. She accepted her diagnosis with grace and dignity. Her quilt is complete, and her legacy lives on through her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren all of whom were stitched with love into her life which was well lived. In addition to all her children and their partners, left to celebrate her life story are 18 grandchildren and step grandchildren: Sari (Andrew), Kirk (Amrita); Scott (Krista), Erik (Victoria), Corina (Trevor); Bill (Jessie), Marie (Dave), Thunder (Freddie); Evan (Larissa), Matthew (Chelsey); Sam, Caroline (Matt); Kim, Chelsey, Shane; Alanna, Beth and Jim, plus a growing number of great grandchildren. A Memorial Service will be held to celebrate Betty’s life in the coming Spring. Her family would like to thank Martha’s House for the kindness and care shown to Mom as well as Dr. Steeves, Dr. Shukkoor, and the wonderful staff at the Palliative Care unit at St. Michael’s Health Care Center.

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2 Condolences for “VAN EGTEREN, Agnes”

  1. Alex Schaafsma and Delma Devoe says:

    Our deepest condolences to all of Betty’s family. She had a rich and happy life. She will be remembered by all she knew.

  2. Wally and Anita Madill says:

    Our condolences to Betty’s family who have created a most beautiful remembrance quilt in words for a beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother. We have had the privilege of receiving Betty’s love as well as many handicrafts which will continue to brighten our hearts and homes.

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